Quite by chance some weeks ago, a friend and I decided that this half term would be a good time to go to Rome for a little break, and to do a spot of shopping (where else can a well dressed priest get collars nowadays?).
After this, of course, came the momentous decision by the Holy Father to step down from heading the Church of Christ. There are many upshots, but one of them is that I shall be in Rome when the Holy Father stops being the Holy Father. Of course we have kept him in our prayers, and it is good to know that we will not be without a Pope for too long...
but I do wish people would just shut up. Cardinals among them. Do we really need Cardinals shouting their mouths off about clerical celibacy and women priests? The impossibility of the ordination of women was sorted a while ago. If you don't believe me then go and read ordinatio sacerdotalis. And the issue of clerical celibacy is so dead in the water that we might as well mince it up and pass it off as
The members of the Church are so often their own worst enemy. We undergo sustained attacks from the secular media, so... I know, what shall we do? Let's give them a gun and draw a target on our backs. If you want martyrdom then go and do it spectacularly... tell the world that as a prince of the Church you cannot stand by and watch the innocent slaughter of millions of children in the womb and go on a hunger strike in front of an abortion mill and invite the media along. But do not 'unwittingly' subject the faithful to death by a thousand snide remarks, which leads not to martyrdom but only to lapsation.
So off I go to Rome to pray for the successor of Peter. May our present one be strong, and the one to come stronger.